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General details:

Newgale is a Good Beach Guide featured beach and has a very long (about 1.5km), flat, sandy beach headed by a large shingle bank which sometimes fails to give protection to the pub & campsite when the sea comes over the top in rare storms. This means the tide goes out a long way (spring tides are around the 6m mark) - up to 300m walk!

On the other hand, you really don't want to sail Newgale when the tide's up on the shingle: 1) the waves dump, 2) the boulders are v. hard (a little like Pozo in Gran Canaria but nothing like so extreme) and 3) you get a reflected wave which causes chaos in the water & broken kit recoveries. The beach faces WSW and is thoroughbred sand. Only when you get right down to the S end of the beach does it turn into a rockpile where the cliffs have collapsed over the aeons. Don't sail that far down. There are no bad rips & only slight sideshore currents.

If there are any waves to be had in St Bride's Bay, Newgale is where they'll lurk. Consequently, it's very popular with surfers, body boarders, kayakers & surf skiers - often all at the same time. Generally, the beach is large enough to cater for all. With SW or W winds and big surf, it's best to leave it to the surfers as the waves will be very mushy & difficult to get through. Once the waves get above about 1.5m in this wind direction it's time to go elsewhere, like Broadhaven. Best wind directions are NW, S thru' SE.

Newgale occasionally gets used by sand buggies & I've sailed my land speedsail there. Apart from kite-flying people, dogs, children building sandcastles, etc, the beach is ideal for these activities.

Newgale has two campsites, a surf shop (which rents surf & body boards), a cafe (closed in 2020), & a pub called the Duke of Edinburgh conveniently located right next to one of the campsites, and just behind the beach.

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Directions to the right place:

From Haverfordwest, take the A487 towards St David's. Your first view of the sea is a spectacular view as you drop down into Newgale (OS Ref: 846222). There's a campsite on the R (pretty basic), across the road from the shingle bank at the head of the beach. As you come down to the bottom of the hill, there's a road off on the L with 2 car parks. The second (more Southerly) one is where the windsurfers tend to congregate! Keep going about 1/2 mile beyond the second car park & there's yet another small, free car park by a shop & caravan park. Another good place to sail from.

During the busy summer months you can encounter a traffic jam as you return through Carmarthen. This is as nothing compared to the traffic jams you will encounter returning from Cornwall. However like all jams, it's well worth avoiding if you can plan your return or find a pleasant pub to hide in instead.

Click here for location map

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How the winds work:

Wind Direction Comments
N Excellent. Starboard tack waves. Can be a bit gusty at the N end of the beach near the cliffs.
NE Off shore. Flat water blasting. Excellent surf if any swells are around. Pretty gusty for wave sailing.
E Dead offshore. Gusty.
SE Off shore, port tack
S Port tack waves. Good for wave sailing.
SW Large mushy waves, hard to get through - can get very big
W Large mushy waves, hard to get through - can get very big
NW Starboard tack waves. Good for wave sailing.
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Tidal conditions:

HW springs tend to occur around 19:00 - 20:00. HW neaps around 12:30 - 14:30 (GMT).

Avoid sailing at high tide when the waves are dumping on the shingle bank. During spring tides, the tides are in the 6.0m range. The sea is beginning to reach the bottom of the shingle bank around two hours before HW.

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Surfers and swimmers when out sailing.

Waves breaking on the shingle bank during your launch or recovery.

Intimidatingly large waves. In cross & offshore winds, the waves can be reasonably well spaced. In onshore conditions, it can be a bit manic.

Occasional weever fish - apparently at their most numerous in August. Excruciatingly painful stings if you step on one.

Spiny crab shells. Honest!

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Car parks right by the beach. Pay and display Take lots of £1 coins - contactless & pay-by-phone technologies haven't reached this far-flung outpost yet.

Link to photo of Newgale car park charges Car park charges, 2020

Free toilets (in the bottom car park) - not very well cared-for in Jul 2020. Ice cream van when the conditions are right. The ice cream van won't give you change for parking!

A short distance away, by the Duke of Edinburgh pub, is a surf shop.

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B&B's / campsites

  • There is a pretty basic campsite just behind the beach at Newgale. Check here for more details. £5 per tent per night in 2006. This gets absolutely rammed at busy times.
  • There's another campsite - Newgale Farm - as you go North up the hill out of Newgale towards St Davids. It's much larger than the one above, and even more basic. £4 per person per night in 2020. It's not signed, and partially hidden so very easy to miss.
  • The Duke of Edinburgh offers motorhome stopovers in their rear car park at times that the adjacent campsite is closed. I.e. out of season. They have several EHU points, though some of them look decidedly dodgy.
  • Pembrokeshire CC have decided to come down heavily on wild camping in 2020, effectively banning any overnight stops anywhere other than hotels, B&Bs & campsites. This includes the car parks.

Check also the accommodation details for Broadhaven

The Duke of Edinburgh inn - 01437 720586 - offers guest rooms and is well situated just across the road from the beach. Only three rooms, so not many people to disturb you. Private parking, en-suite.

Several B&B's in Solva. Advisable to book in the summer.

For more details on the Newgale, Solva & St David's area, contact:

Pembs Tourist Information - Tel: 01437 720392. Fax: 01437 720392. (Open all year)

Nearby Broad Haven has a 3 star rated Youth Hostel.

Newgale Farm Campsite - 07779 506742.

Plenty of other campsites slightly further afield. Try Hilton Court Garden & Crafts, Rainbolts Hill Farm or Bôn Camping (for an eco-experience), all in Roch.

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Pubs and eateries

There's a good chippy back in Haverfordwest - on the left just before Tesco (when heading in to Haverfordwest).

There's another chippy at the Texaco filling station on the Eastbound side of the main road to Haverfordwest, just before Pelcomb Cross.

Sands cafe in Newgale has been closed for a couple of years (in 2020). It looks like it's been knocked down and something else is being rebuilt there, so watch this space.

IMHO, the closest decent pub is the Victoria Inn Brewhouse, in Roch (01437 710426) - a couple of miles back towards Haverfordwest. Good range of beers, brewed in-house, and reasonable range of meals.

A bit further afield are the Harbour Inn and the Ship Inn in Solva, 3 or so miles towards St David's. This pubs provide good beer and food in a fascinating location. Unfortunately Solva's popularity means that it can be very busy in the summer, with the very narrow main road going up the hill towards St David's getting occasionally gridlocked.

The Duke of Edinburgh in Newgale serves food 12-3pm and 6-9pm. 01437 720586

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Update from John Mellor - Jul '03.

Note: All comments and opinions mentioned in this section of the site are the personal opinions of the various contributors. Inevitably, one person's favourite may be another person's least favourite.

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This page last updated: 6th Nov, 2020.

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